ICE Arrests 498 in Sanctuary City Operation

By Preston Huennekens on October 3, 2017

Last week Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that they had arrested a total of 498 illegal aliens from 42 countries in the span of only four days.

Operation Safe City was a unique operation that specifically focused on jurisdictions that do not honor ICE detainer requests, forbid ICE agents to enter jails, or otherwise refuse to cooperate directly with ICE. The operation took place in the cities of Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., San Jose, Washington, D.C., and the state of Massachusetts.

ICE indicated that they were specifically targeting criminal aliens that they knew to be residing in these sanctuary communities. However, under guidelines from the Trump administration, they arrested any unlawfully present aliens they encountered during the course of their investigations, known as collateral arrests. This is a departure from the Obama administration, which directed ICE agents to arrest only illegal aliens wanted for crimes other than immigration violations. Of the 498 aliens ICE arrested, 317 (64 percent) had previous criminal convictions. Because of the sanctuary policies of these jurisdictions, these convicted criminals had been released back into the community following their sentences. Notably, 104 individuals had been previously deported.

The crimes committed by those arrested range from simple immigration violations to more severe crimes such as aggravated assault and rape. Eight-six individuals carry convictions for driving under the influence, which has become increasingly common as a deadly consequence of not enforcing immigration laws.

A number of the aliens arrested in Operation Safe City are sex offenders, including 10 counts of sexual offenses against children. In total, 6 percent of the individuals arrested in the operation have sex crime convictions.

ICE indicated this is the first time it has conducted an operation targeting criminals specifically within non-cooperative jurisdictions. Normally, jurisdictions facilitate the removal of criminal aliens by honoring a detainer request or allowing ICE agents into local jails. Because this process takes place in the safety of a detention center there is little to no danger or difficulty in this process. This is not possible in sanctuary jurisdictions; they force ICE agents to apprehend dangerous criminals on the streets, endangering both officers and the general public.

Operations like Safe City will continue as long as sanctuary jurisdictions refuse to cooperate with ICE; operations like this are unnecessary in jurisdictions that cooperate with ICE agents and let them remove criminal aliens from the controlled environment of a detention center.

The table below lists the criminal convictions of the 317 previously convicted aliens arrested in Operation Safe City. Criminal aliens with multiple prior convictions are categorized based on their most serious conviction.

Criminal Conviction Total
Driving under influence 86
Drug trafficking 14
Assault 13
Domestic violence 12
Weapon offense 11
Sex offense against child/fondling 10
Traffic offense other 10
Larceny 9
Drug Possession 8
Aggravated assault weapon 7
Dangerous drugs 7
Disorderly conduct 7
Aggravated assault 6
Cocaine possession 6
Burglary 5
Cocaine sell 5
Illegal re-entry 5
Possession of weapon 5
Prostitution 5
Battery 4
Controlled Substance 4
Cruelty toward child 4
Fraud 4
Sex assault 4
Amphetamine possession 3
Damage property 3
Identity theft 3
Robbery weapon 3
Trespassing 3
Aggravated assault public officer 2
Assault - Domestic Violence 2
Carrying concealed weapon 2
Forgery 2
Heroin sell 2
Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child 2
Robbery strong arm 2
Sex offense other 2
Shoplifting 2
Simple assault 2
Vehicle theft 2
Amphetamine sell 1
Bribery 1
Contempt of court 1
Counterfeiting 1
Cruelty toward wife 1
Extort threat to injure person 1
False citizenship 1
Harassing communication 1
Heroin possession 1
Invade Privacy 1
Marijuana possession 1
Marijuana sell 1
Negligent manslaughter vehicle 1
Obstructing justice 1
Peeping tom 1
Possession of Cocaine 1
Possession of Firearm 1
Public order crimes 1
Rape 1
Receive stolen property 1
Sexual exploitation of minor 1
Stolen Property 1
Stolen vehicle 1
Theft of us government property 1
Threat terroristic state offenses 1
Threat to kidnap 1